Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Hess

(

HES

) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Hess as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • HES has 12x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 3.19 mentions/day.
  • HES has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $176.0 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on HES:

Hess Corporation, an exploration and production company, develops, produces, purchases, transports, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.7%. HES has a PE ratio of 19. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Hess has been 2.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Hess has a market cap of $16.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 1.80 and a short float of 2.5% with 2.13 days to cover. Shares are down 19.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Hess as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • HES's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 46.68% is the gross profit margin for HESS CORP which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HES's net profit margin of -25.29% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, HESS CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $362.00 million or 68.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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